In the name of diversity, why I believe New Haven got it wrong….

So the Supreme Court is hearing a case about whether or not white firefighters were discriminated against when their firefighter tests were thrown out because the majority of blacks didn’t do well on the test.  New Haven, CT decided that in the interest of diversity, it was a good idea, I beg to differ.

As a black man I understand what the fights for equality was for.  I understand or so I thought I understood what the purpose and intent of Affirmative Action was.  However, if the decision goes against these white firefighters than I think it’s a great disservice to black people in general.

The purpose of Affirmative Action to me and all the struggles made for equal rights were to ensure that qualified blacks had opportunities to compete in arenas that were willfully denied to them because of the color of their skin. As a black man I would fight the good fight to ensure my children have the same opportunities as any other child in America, however I would not want them or myself to only be given that opportunity because of our skin color.

If you are qualified and denied access because of your skin color that is a problem.  But if you are given access because of your skin color regardless of qualification, then that too is a problem and any who would accept that really spit in the face of pride of oneself and the efforts of our forefathers.  I can in no way ever feel that it’s acceptable to be given something others who are more qualified than me don’t have because of my skin color.  What would that say about me?  What type of value does that place on me?  I would rather be given an opportunity because I’m qualified rather than to make a quota.

Therefore, it is not the fault of these white firefighters that the minorities who took the same test didn’t qualify.  If the department becomes less diversified because of it then so be it.  Ensuring diversification should only be defined within the confines of accessibility.  These jobs and positions should definitely be available for all who qualify.  The black firefighters according to the reports did not.  If I were the black firefighters I would stand by these white firefighters, it’s not their fault they scored higher.

New Haven, Ct. Firefighters Claim Reverse Discrimination Justices to Hear White, Hispanic Firefighters’ Claim That City Favored Blacks


  1. This sort of thing goes on all the time. The federal government steps in and says you will have more diversity. It does not matter how you get there but you will have diversity. Both my brother and myself have been in situations where we knew they were looking for a black person to hire. We both knew this because we had friends who were part of the hiring process. In one instance my brother, who works for a major police dept. wanted to transfer to a position that was open. He knew ahead they were looking for a black female. He went to the interview just out of curiosity. He got his rejection letter and then they had to give him pointers on how to interview better next time. The guy giving this advice was a black man who failed the Sgts exam but was promoted anyway. My brother just looked at him and started laughing, told him it was alright, he did not have to put himself thru this farce. I also had something similiar happen with a fire dept.

    My point in all of this is that I do belive that these jobs should reflect the commmunity that they serve. I think that straight out quotas are the answer, it protects everyones interest. If you know up front that you are not going to hire a white why waste everyones time. Its all a bunch of hyprocracy. As a child I was taught to work hard and play by the rules and you will advance but the reality is the best do not always get promoted.


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